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GMRS vs CB

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    Posted: 22 July 2021 at 9:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Recon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2021 at 7:10am
I have a CB and GMRS in my Jeep, its nice having both. I use a 5 watt midland and works nice around town and talking to people on the trails. Its small also. Slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 98TJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2021 at 1:33am
I have a large box full of CB radios, coax, antennas, hardware, etc.  I would hate to change over to GMRS, but that seems to be the way offroad is headed.  It seems that CB is AM and GMRS is FM???  Also you can get a 50 watt GMRS radio and an FCC no-test license.  Everything I read says GMRS is clearer and carries farther.

Now they have combination GPS/GMRS radios that can show all the vehicles in your group and their location on a topo map.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 98TJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2022 at 11:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gumataotaom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2022 at 11:58am
Is that what u have now Brad or do you run both cb and gmrs?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 98TJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2022 at 12:09pm
We have had some handheld gmrs radios for years, but not mounted in our vehicles.  But gmrs is coming and will be the standard offroad radio in a few years.  Gmrs is now required in every vehicle in jeep jamboree.  I think our 2m ham radios work with gmrs radios.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gumataotaom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2022 at 1:16pm
Good to know.  Pricey compared to the cb I have mounted now.  I do have an old handheld Garmin gps with GMRS walkie type In a box somewhere that I used to mark camping sites and trails in Colorado but never used the gmrs option (didn't have a license).  Seen videos of folks using them in their rigs while I watched overlanding videos on YouTube at night but never priced them til you sent that article.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 98TJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2022 at 1:19pm
I don't know much about them, but I assume they are FM and legal up to 50 watts vs AM and 4 watts for a CB.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gumataotaom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2022 at 2:37pm
Found a Midland like the one in the article with remote but the 15w model for 149 at office depot/max.  Guess I can hold til the club's rigs all migrate to that standard.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 98TJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2022 at 2:44pm
I don't know if rcrc will ever change.  When we were in moab last year I had a handheld gmrs with scan capability.  We heard a lot more folks on gmrs than cb, but I think most were SxSs.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alabamatoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2022 at 6:40am
Caution, a ham is about to geek out on this topic....

GMRS and FRS share frequencies.  FRS is limited to 0.5 watt (500 milliwatts).  Its all UHF (ultra-high frequency) and FM (frequency modulation).  Most UHF capable ham radios will receive on FRS/GMRS freqs, but wont be able to transmit.  Often, you can find modifications out there for ham radios to make them transmit on freqs outside of their designed range.  But this can fry the radio, too, especially if you do not have an antenna tuned for the frequency.  For receive, you can use a bent coathanger and it wont harm the radio, but for transmit you must have an antenna "tuned" to the frequency or else the trasmitted power reflects back into the radio and will eventually fry it.  A Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) meter is used to measure this reflectivity and tune the antenna.

GMRS and FRS frequencies: http://www.gmrsfrequencies.com/gmrs-frequencies-list.html  All the GMRS/FRS is in the range of 462 megahertz (mhz), or .7meter, 70 centimeter wavelength.  Ham 70CM band is 440-444 mhz.

CB is AM (amplitude modulation), with its crappy audio and unpredictable propagation.  CB is HF (high frequency) and in the range of 27 megahertz, or about 11Meter wavelength.  CB is limited to 4 watts, but this is widely ignored, with many truckers running "kickers" of 1000 watts or more.  There is little to no policing (actually, hams are supposed to help the FCC police the airwaves) so there's lots of noise and cussing and such on CB.  And HF bounces all around, bounces off layers of the atmosphere etc - so often you can talk across the continent but not across the county.

Everyone is probably going to find GMRS much more usable and effective, especially with its more-or-less built-in Automated Position Reporting System (APRS, the capability to show locations of stations).  Also, as the linked page above shows, there are "repeaters" on GMRS - these are (usually) fixed location stations, often high on a mountaintop or commercial tower, which listen on one freq (the input freq) and xmit what they hear on a nearby freq (ie they repeat everything).  So you set your radio to listen to the repeater output freq, and transmit on the input of the repeater, and its as though you are sitting at the top of that high tower, with muuuuuch greater range.

Theres also capabilities like encoding a tone in the transmission, and everyone setting their radio to only listen for that tone (its sub-audible, so YOU dont hear the tone, but your radio does).  This can be used to block everyone on a given frequency who is not using the pre-shared tone, and squelch other groups from your conversation.

The downside is that the GMRS radio hardware is expensive compared to CB, with different coax, and antenna requirements, and technically you are required to have a license, for which there is no test, only application and fee to FCC.  You think all those drunken rap-blasting SXS fellers have licenses?  Yeah, Im sure they do.

I personally think transition to GMRS would be a good thing for RCRC....but the club should consider investing in a couple of handhelds to loan out to newbs for club rides like we did with the CBs. 

Time and technology marches on.  Keep up or get left behind.  Next we will be considering electric Jeeps, like Barbie.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gumataotaom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2022 at 6:59am
Thanks for the info.  Good read.  I do like the private channel that all can join to reduce the chatter of others on the net.   It would take everyone's buy in to baseline our comms.  I'm up for it but prefer not to mount 2 radios and antennas in my rig so one or the other.  Were so close in our rides that cb works just fine but nice to have something with longer range especially if meeting up 2 hrs away tio catch folks on their trip up or back if they're having issues.  But I guess that's what cell phones are for if you have their numbers and within coverage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alabamatoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2022 at 6:49am

Im interested in the MXT575 since it can be remote mounted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 98TJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2022 at 1:08pm
Yesterday when we would get a little ways apart, no cb connection
  One of those gmrs 50 watt fm radios would have to do a better job.  I think they are coming, but it may be a few years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 98TJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2022 at 1:09pm
I don't do well with those mics with all the buttons.  I keep pushing buttons by accident.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Recon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 hours 16 minutes ago at 10:50am
Originally posted by alabamatoy alabamatoy wrote:

Caution, a ham is about to geek out on this topic....

GMRS and FRS share frequencies.  FRS is limited to 0.5 watt (500 milliwatts).  Its all UHF (ultra-high frequency) and FM (frequency modulation).  Most UHF capable ham radios will receive on FRS/GMRS freqs, but wont be able to transmit.  Often, you can find modifications out there for ham radios to make them transmit on freqs outside of their designed range.  But this can fry the radio, too, especially if you do not have an antenna tuned for the frequency.  For receive, you can use a bent coathanger and it wont harm the radio, but for transmit you must have an antenna "tuned" to the frequency or else the trasmitted power reflects back into the radio and will eventually fry it.  A Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) meter is used to measure this reflectivity and tune the antenna.

GMRS and FRS frequencies: http://www.gmrsfrequencies.com/gmrs-frequencies-list.html  All the GMRS/FRS is in the range of 462 megahertz (mhz), or .7meter, 70 centimeter wavelength.  Ham 70CM band is 440-444 mhz.

CB is AM (amplitude modulation), with its crappy audio and unpredictable propagation.  CB is HF (high frequency) and in the range of 27 megahertz, or about 11Meter wavelength.  CB is limited to 4 watts, but this is widely ignored, with many truckers running "kickers" of 1000 watts or more.  There is little to no policing (actually, hams are supposed to help the FCC police the airwaves) so there's lots of noise and cussing and such on CB.  And HF bounces all around, bounces off layers of the atmosphere etc - so often you can talk across the continent but not across the county.

Everyone is probably going to find GMRS much more usable and effective, especially with its more-or-less built-in Automated Position Reporting System (APRS, the capability to show locations of stations).  Also, as the linked page above shows, there are "repeaters" on GMRS - these are (usually) fixed location stations, often high on a mountaintop or commercial tower, which listen on one freq (the input freq) and xmit what they hear on a nearby freq (ie they repeat everything).  So you set your radio to listen to the repeater output freq, and transmit on the input of the repeater, and its as though you are sitting at the top of that high tower, with muuuuuch greater range.

Theres also capabilities like encoding a tone in the transmission, and everyone setting their radio to only listen for that tone (its sub-audible, so YOU dont hear the tone, but your radio does).  This can be used to block everyone on a given frequency who is not using the pre-shared tone, and squelch other groups from your conversation.

The downside is that the GMRS radio hardware is expensive compared to CB, with different coax, and antenna requirements, and technically you are required to have a license, for which there is no test, only application and fee to FCC.  You think all those drunken rap-blasting SXS fellers have licenses?  Yeah, Im sure they do.

I personally think transition to GMRS would be a good thing for RCRC....but the club should consider investing in a couple of handhelds to loan out to newbs for club rides like we did with the CBs. 

Time and technology marches on.  Keep up or get left behind.  Next we will be considering electric Jeeps, like Barbie.

This made me feel guilty so I went to the FCC, applied and payed for a license.
1988 YJ Wrangler 33s locker
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